Montana Gas Prices Will Remain ‘Uncomfortably High’ For Now
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - After the price of regular unleaded gas jumped twenty cents in one day a few weeks ago, KGVO News immediately reached out to Patrick DeHaan, the answer man for gas prices from Gas Buddy, who became available for an interview on Monday.
DeHaan said a refinery in Colorado has a great deal to do with why gas prices have increased dramatically here in Montana.
Here's Why Gas Prices took Such a Big Jump
“A lot of that (the price increases) may be more related to regional refineries,” began DeHaan. “That is the Suncor refinery in Colorado, still down because of the arctic blast that we saw the last week in December that's had a major impact on gasoline supply through areas of the Rockies. And for that reason, combined with oil prices that have been jumping gas prices have been pushed higher across much of the country, not just in your neck of the woods, but potentially larger increases happening in the Rockies because of the Suncor refinery in Colorado being down.”
DeHaan said the Russian war on Ukraine will continue to drive gas prices higher around the world.
The War in Ukraine Continues to Increase Gas Prices
“For the here and now, that is until Russia’s war in Ukraine is behind us, I think we're going to continue to see gas prices that are a bit higher, maybe potentially uncomfortably higher than what we've been accustomed to in recent years,” he said. “A lot of the reason is because Russia is still one of the world's largest oil producers, and losing out on supply from Russia via sanctions is certainly a tremendous impact.”
DeHaan said a recent article in which the Biden Administration admitted the canceling of the Keystone XL Pipeline would result in the loss of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars that could have had a positive impact in states like Montana. However, DeHaan said the jobs and financial impact would have been temporary in nature.
"Keep in mind, nearly every single one of those thousands or tens of thousands of jobs would be merely temporary," he said. "I'm not exactly convinced in agreement that the Keystone would have had a major positive impact for residents of the Rockies or residents of any state because the bulk majority with the exception of I believe 50 full-time jobs, all those jobs would be temporary and very short in nature. So it not it wouldn't necessarily have been such a big boon jobs wise."
Both Gas and Diesel Prices will Continue to Rise
DeHaan said that even though gas and diesel fuel are distilled differently, both will become more and more expensive as time goes by.
“The two fuels, gasoline, and diesel are similar in that they're both a refined product,” he said. “They're very much different when it comes to the market for those products, and the supply and demand balances behind them, but I do think that both gasoline and diesel are now likely to start trending higher in the weeks and months ahead. Now, diesel prices won't go up as much in the summer, as gasoline does. But I think there's plenty of upside for both.”
Despite the rapid increase in gas and diesel prices, DeHaan said shopping around will help drivers find the least expensive gas in western Montana.
DeHaan said the increase in diesel fuel costs will definitely cause food and other products to rise commensurately.
Click here to see Gas Buddy’s current report about Missoula’s gas prices.